Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A late night out

I found out that a band that I'd liked from college would be playing in this town that I lived in... although I have never lived in a town like that. It was on a river, and it was a busy place. It was sort of like Denton, but nothing like it.

But the band was also St. Lucia. I got to the venue, which was a fast food restaurant with an attached auditorium, with my own keyboard in hand. The audience wasn't big - maybe 50 people. I played along and harmonized on all the songs, and the singer thought that was pretty cool.

Unfortunately, there was a storm coming and the river had flooded; there was a bridge near the restaurant that was completely covered in water. Everyone that was left (many had left early) quickly headed away from the river up the road, and we were afraid the water would cover us but it did not. We ended up at a hotel on a high floor; there were about seven fans and the band there. They asked us if we wanted to go to a bar and just chill out, and everyone else in the group agreed. I hesitated, as I didn't really want to go to a bar, but I decided I wouldn't have another chance like this again so I went along as well. We all had a great time talking about music and vintage Bollywood movies.

It would be a very long drive home for me, so I took a couch from the bar (because that's completely normal) and went to find a random apartment to sleep in. (I don't know how I got there or what happened to my keyboard.) I had just the couch and a bag with me. I found an unlocked apartment in a campus complex, opened the door, and knew it was two female roommates living there. I brought the couch in, hauled it up some stairs to a sort of open landing/loft area, then watched a little bit of a Shah Rukh Khan movie that we'd talked about in the bar... but I was very tired and fell asleep.

In the morning, I woke up and was trying to figure out how I'd get the couch back out, when the girls who lived in the apartment woke up and I could hear them have this conversation:
"So your friend stayed over last night."
"She's not my friend. I thought she was your friend."

I realized I needed to leave right away before they saw me, grabbed my bag, left the couch, and ran as fast as I could to my Prius, heart pounding.

It was at this point I woke up and realized it wasn't real ... I was awake for about an hour or so and wrote all that down on my phone.

Then I drifted back off to sleep and had another dream where I went back and confessed to them that it was me who had gone to their house and slept on the couch. I hoped that if I could make friends with them they'd forget all about it, but I wasn't sure if they would or not by the time I woke up again. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Penticton 3

I had gone back to Penticton yet again, this time to plan a fourth trip there.

(The first trip, I took in real life. The second was a previous dream; in that one, I had gone in November or December with my mom, A., and R. I guess I dreamt about this a year ago or so. In that dream, we had driven throughout the city streets and never really found what were were looking for, but stumbled on a really great burger place on an unexpected street. We had gone to a mall to watch a movie, and the mall was a large brick building. We never made it to the movie thought because there was a disaster and we all had to evacuate, but everyone was ok. I remember very little else about it, except for an area that was mostly water with a bridge and a gazebo in the middle of the bridge. It looked nothing like the real Penticton, but was absolutely the same city in my mind.)

This time, it was January and it had snowed recently enough to still have some snow on the ground. I was scouting out Airbnb places so that A. and I could come back, perhaps in June. I'd already gone once in December and once in April, so now I wanted to go at the peak season. I followed the same straight roads I had followed the previous time and came to a white wooden house that I'd found on the internet. The Airbnb price was $93 or something similar so I figured it was a good deal. I went inside and encountered someone in a red and black jacket. We talked briefly and she showed me around the place. I figured it was a good place in winter and would certainly be better in summer. So I decided I would stay there that night, but wanted to go out and explore the city a bit since I was back.  

I went walking, and crossed the bridge with the gazebo. This led me outside the city and perhaps even outside the country, but it wasn't too difficult to get back in. The only problem was the snow; I kept slipping on the snow and ice. I thought I should probably get back after a bit of solo walking around the city and surrounding areas, so I came back to the house. I realized I needed to stay there for the night, so I asked them about the price, which I saw on the internet was $93. But they told me that because of the snow, they'd increased the price to $118. They knew I had to have a place to stay so they increased the price since I had nowhere else to go. They also told me that in peak season, it would be $138, but it wasn't like I had anywhere else to go since the hotels would be full. I realized they were shady people and left, knowing I could get a private room at the hostel I stayed at the first time I went there. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

A place to gather

(November 17, 2014)

I had recently found a new comic whose work I liked. Her name was Lorraine, and her acts really reminded me a lot of my life. I thought I was watching a tv show, but it turned out the clips were very short and I just thought they were connected, but they were not. I was so addicted to these clips, I was watching them in my car and the car battery ran low. So to charge it back up, I drove around the block. I then came across the house of one SB, on a corner lot of a very wealthy subdivision. As I drove by her very large backyard, I got a glimpse of her menagerie, mostly very cute kittens. They were frolicking all over a large, nicely planned garden.

I stopped the car and went inside to say hello. I entered through a large patio/hall. She was cleaning up after a Girl Scout cookie party that she had been hosting. We made small talk, then my friend AR texts me, asking him if I could go pick him up, as he was at a nearby bank.

I went to pick him up. The bank actually looked like a house, which confused me, but I saw him and pulled over to get him. I sat in the passenger seat - actually, in the center - and he drove. On the way back, was telling him about Lorraine. He asked me if she reminded me of DB, which I thought was an odd question, so I asked him why everything reminded him of DB. But he ignored the question as we drove by SB's house again, and mentioned how he missed going over there, and how he knew all the cats by name. So we decided to stop by again, just for a minute.

This time, we go in by the front door and end up in the kitchen. There's a big group meeting in the kitchen, talking about Ferguson and protests. AR is sitting on the bleachers outside in the patio/hall but I'm quite interested in this discussion so I come in and listen more. The leader of the group asked me if I was really interested or if this was just a passing thing, and asked me to prove it. I got nervous and wanted to write my information down but had lost all my motor skills. It took me a long time to write down my name and address, but somehow I did. I also wanted to exchange addresses with someone, but couldn't find any more paper.

Then there was a group activity; we all had a piece of thread and we were supposed to give ours to someone else. I didn't know anyone so I chose a guy randomly. Turns out he was a famous singer and I didn't know. At this point, we cleared out the kitchen area for his show. We've been talking for a while and he asked me to sing something but I said I only had Hindi karaokes. So instead, he asked me to make an announcement to start the show, but I was bad at it and people made fun of me. I went to go get food, to abate my embarrassment, but my motor skills were still very bad and I couldn't get the chips to stay on my plate, so I tried to throw it away and I couldn't even do that. I realized it was time to make my exit, so I go look for AR, but he has driven home. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

K's wedding reception and a reckless driver

K had returned yet again, but this time he had gotten married and was having his wedding reception. He invited A. and me to come and of course we were very excited and said we would. I wonder who he married though - Petrichor, or the red-haired girl? I never found out.

I had to go to my old university, so I took the car and drove there. As I parked the car, a blonde sorority girl came over to look at the Prius. "I've never driven one of these cars before. Cars for poor people. Can I?" she said, then just took my keys from me. I hastily jumped in the passenger seat as she took me on a terrifying ride. Up stairs, across the main quad, forcing people to run to get out of the way, barely missing beams... I was afraid she would wreck the car. I pleaded with her to stop, as it was the only car I had and I couldn't afford another. But she kept driving like a maniac - at least until she got bored and parked in a parking garage then sauntered off.

I got out of the car myself and coming around the corner were A. and a visibly shaken K. It turns out he was not able to get a train ticket to Nagpur, which was where the wedding reception would be held, in time for the wedding. He had a lot of things he had to bring as well, and now it looked like the whole thing had to be postponed or maybe cancelled. I was briefly thankful that girl had not wrecked my car, because it was now needed, and just said without thinking, "Oh, we're coming anyway. You can ride with us." A. shot me a death glare; his original plan was to take the train and if we couldn't get seats, then he was hoping we'd just not go. But now we were committed to a very long drive (I assume we were in Delhi. I don't actually know.) and we started making logistical plans to fit three of us, all of our suitcases, and the reception decor that K had with him into the Prius. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Showing one's political affiliation by what notes we sing

My dream was like reality in that we had one performance left of a very large choral work. In every other detail it differed, though I can see where parts are based in reality. The work was set in some Hindustani classical raga which used what is called in Bengali 'kori ma' - the sharp fourth or in Western music, if set as an interval against the tonic, the tritone.

The choir I was singing with was run by the Episcopal church, which had (also sadly true outside of dream) been bitterly divided on the topic of how gay people were to be viewed and their role in the church. And somehow this issue of politics also got tied up with a musical controversy: the conservative contingent had also decided to change this raga to include shuddh ma instead of kori ma. (Upon waking, I realize this is analogous to the demonization of the tritone in the Middle Ages.) In this case, the conservative contingent had won out and we were now to sing all pieces without using kori ma.

But we had one concert left.

Even among choir members we were divided. To sing it as we had been singing previously would be to defy the church and show support for the liberal agenda - even if the reason we were doing it was because it was impossible to relearn the whole work in a day, it would still be construed as such. Hardcore conservatives and those who were scared of backlash said 'change it, even if it means we make mistakes in performance.' Liberal people such as myself thought this was ridiculous and wished to sing it as it was, and those who didn't care thought "there is one concert left; can't this be grandfathered in?" The director of the choir seemed to fall in the "I don't agree with this but I don't want to lose my job" camp but also the "We can't relearn this in one day and it will sound terrible" camp and could not make up his mind, leaving us to fight it out amongst ourselves.

I wrote a scathing op-ed about it, how it was against the message of the church and also particularly against the message of the piece we were performing to be so legalistic, Pharisaical, and political that the litmus test of where you stood was whether you sang a piece as it was written or a revisionist version with a note one-half step down. How this piece was based on a particular scale that gives a particular feel and you can't just go changing it to flaunt your position on an issue that has nothing to do with the music. And how this ridiculous question of the "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" type only serves to point out who is obedient enough to do what we ask and who is not, and does not make the church any better and only serves to make music worse.

I woke up before a final decision was made but I am sure I would have refused to perform regardless of the outcome.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A practice room, or perhaps a prison

I was at the university in the city across the border. K and I were writing a song, whether in a practice room or a prison I am still not sure. It was halfway underground, with a window across one wall on the top half, looking at the outside. We were not concerned, so it must have been a practice room, although it felt like a prison. For hours we sat there, writing, talking, forgetting to eat, as the hours passed, looking out the half-window (or was it that we were looking in on ourselves?)

The night lingered on. I felt sleepy and closed my eyes for just a moment. I did not want to waste a second of this time in sleep; the next moment I knew he would go back to the unknown world he inhabited. In that moment, I felt him lay his head on my shoulder. I did not open my eyes. We said nothing and drifted off into sleep together.

I woke up later to find he was still sleeping peacefully. I didn't want to disturb him so I fell asleep again myself. No, no, this time was not wasted at all.

I woke from the dream with lyrics in my mind, which faded immediately upon waking.

Who is the K of my dream? I don't even know. He looks like no one I know and as I read back on these posts later, I assume it is this person, or it is that person. But it is not. I think perhaps K is that aspect of myself that loves me unconditionally, accepts me, doesn't judge me; I slept last night after unfavorably comparing myself to others and maybe this is just how I remember that such comparison and critical judgment is unnecessary.

He does resemble Akshay Kumar in "OMG" quite a bit, hence the initial K. But with better hair.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

14 reasons the world is not ready for a female guitarist

Such was the title of the Buzzfeed article I was reading upon it having become common knowledge that the band that was my favorite in my dream - let us call them Mystery because I forgot what they were called - had a new guitarist named Michaela. Not Michael. Michaela. And the music world went crazy. How could a woman shred, they asked? How could she tour when she needed to be home cooking? Would she ever get married?

But tour she did, shred she did, and it just so happened that Mystery's tour took them to the town just across the border from me. Very nice, I thought, and I decided I would go to their show whenever it happened, but it was quite a ways off in the future so I didn't think very much about it besides wondering when tickets would go on sale.

Choir practice was at the high school it used to be at that Monday night, so I went like a diligent little fake soprano, sang my piece, and when choir practice was over, went out to my car and began to drive home. On the way, I got a call from an unknown number. I picked it up and the voice on the other end of the line was a surprise - it was an acquaintance of mine who had talked to the manager of Mystery and said they wanted me to come rehearse with them for the upcoming show. WHAT. Of course I said yes, but I had to go get my microphone first. They wanted me back at the high school in thirty minutes. Half of my microphone and accessories were in a storage unit, so I went there first. Then I had to go to my mom's house and find the other half. I felt I was racing the clock and that if I got there after 10 PM, I would not have a chance.

Microphone acquired, I drove eastward again, only to get yet another call from A., who was eating at a restaurant and wanted me to join him. So of course I did, but I told him we had to really get going and I wasn't hungry anyway, because I needed to be back at the high school by 10. He said he had to move his truck (truck? okay) and went outside. I followed shortly thereafter to see a huge garbage truck moving forward a little too fast in the parking lot. A Dumpster fell off the back, and the truck lost control and hit another car. I got really scared and called out A's name, but no response. I went over to the truck and didn't see him inside it. No one was inside it, which should have scared me more, but I was just glad he wasn't in the truck. I didn't know where he was, but at this point I couldn't figure out what else to do - I had to go. So I got in my car, may or may not have clipped another vehicle on the way, and drove back to the high school and hurriedly ran to the auditorium.

And there is A, just sitting at a table and chatting with my friend. The band's manager is milling about and I am dying to talk to him and even more to get up there and sing backup on those fantastic Mystery songs I have loved for so much of my life. Michaela is warming up, playing scales on stage. I go over to my friend and A. and ask him how he got there so fast but he doesn't really have an answer for me. At this point, I've realized it was a dream but instead of being able to do whatever I want,  I just feel guilty that I haven't woken up yet, and everything starts moving slowly. At long last the manager comes over and flashes his million-watt smile in my direction. I hastily introduce myself to this absolute genius of a man and then before he can tell me what he wants me to do, I wake up so I can start my day. If only I had gotten there sooner...